Ethiopia-Eritrea rift: Neutral Khartoum offers to mediate

January 17, 2014


Sudan has offered to mediate to end historic animosities between old foes and neighbours Ethiopia and Eritrea, media reports from Khartoum suggest Friday. Sudan’s state media said Khartoum had made the commitment during Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir’s visit to the Eritrean capital Asmara on Thursday.

Sudan’s ambassador to Asmara, Abdul Rahamn Sir-Alkahtim was quoted saying President Bashir had initiated indirect talks between President Issias Aferworki of Eritrea and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia.

President Bashir will call the two leaders to a summit in Khartoum at a date to be revealed in due course, he added.

“The Sudanese president has started some efforts to normalize relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea� the ambassador said, adding that Sudan was keen on bringing both sides to the negotiating table to work out a compromise after years of hostilities which had culminated in armed conflict.

The Sudanese diplomat said his country was using her friendly relations with both countries to promote regional peace and security amidst growing threats from terrorism and other forms of instability.

Eritrea seceded from the rest of Ethiopia in 1991 after a bitterly fought independence war.

Aside from a long running border dispute and a proxy war in Somalia, both Addis Ababa and Asmara have traded accusations of supporting rebel groups in each other’s territory.

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